Deborah Schamoni, Munich

Deborah Schamoni was trained as an artist but became a gallerist. Since 2013 she has been running her gallery in Munich, a town that is better known for its institutional art power than its contemporary art scene. An unusual place for a gallery, but one that has its plus side.

Deborah Schamoni, Munich

ow did it all start? When did you open your gallery?

The gallery opened here in Munich three and a half years ago, in March 2013, with the group show Kukuk. The idea of having one large group show every year continues since then in the series Die Marmory Shows. The exhibition by Gerry Bibby and Henrik Olesen Die Marmory Show III has just closed.

What brought you to contemporary art in the first place?

I guess my friends, quite a few of whom are artists. I’ve realised I wasn’t talented enough to be an artist, but I love it, and also dealing with art and artists is actually quite a lot of fun, so it felt like a natural fit for me.

Tell us about the program of your gallery

The program has been built up from one artist to the next, in a very open way. It is focused on art and artists that have sociopolitical, philosophical and aesthetical concerns, and deal with that questions and other important contemporary issues. I frequently discuss the contemporary art scene with the artists of the gallery.

What kind of a place is Munich for a contemporary art gallery?

It is a unusual place for a contemporary gallery, in an interesting way, which is good. Munich has great institutions and curators, good collections, but no contemporary art gallery scene, in the sense of a community of galleries and artists.

What about institutional support? How do you seek their attention as a young gallery?

Institutions are always looking for young art. We have worked closely with curators, for example, on the yearly Marmory Shows.

How would you describe the role of a gallery in the art world today?

The most important part of a galleries role lies in communication, and connection within the art world, and with the community. A gallery is like a context for artist, writers and curators. There’s a constant ebb and flow off movement and growth in a gallery. It is important that we interact with each other in a productive way.

How does digitalization affect your work as a gallerist?

I can’t imagine working without it, it would be impossible.

Tell us about a difficult moment and a happy moment in your career as a gallerist?

It is difficult when an artist leaves you for another, larger gallery. A happy moment is when a big installation is sold to a good place.

Who is an artist who ideally you would like to represent if you co could choose freely, even in history?

Hm, I suppose Mike Kelley? If we would have gotten along.

Die Marmory Show III, Guilty Pleasures, Amalia Ulman, Excellences & Perfections (Instagram Update, 19th May 2014), 2015, Photo credit Ulrich Gebert, Courtesy the artists and Deborah Schamoni